Three Things You Need to Know About HDTVs

1. Commercial Vs. Consumer HDTVs (Flat Panels)

If you are procuring flat panel HDTVs for government facilities, be aware that the consumer models sold in big-box stores and base exchanges are built for home use and are not covered by the full warranty once they are used in a workplace. The consumer HDTV warranty will expire in 90 days. After that, repairs and parts can be billed at full price. The manufacturers are protected by law from having to pay for repairs of consumer products used in commercial settings. Any location other than a home or home office is considered commercial.

Research and procure “commercial” HDTVs. These units are specifically designed for workplace and professional applications. They are built to withstand the rigors of 24/7 operation plus the wear and tear of commercial settings. Warranties are usually two years or greater. There are good reasons for procuring commercial electronics. The first is quality, which is clearly superior, as the units are made for professional applications. The second is safety and liability. The third is that commercial units have built-in features that support your work, such as digital signage, more connection options and greater energy savings. Plus, commercial HDTVs are sold and serviced by authorized professionals. Procuring your HDTVs from a GSA schedule offers additional protection to government and military customers, as it assures competitive pricing and that the HDTVs meet GSA requirements for quality, durability, and energy consumption.

2. FAR and TAA Requirements’
When considering HDTVs for government facilities, keep in mind that FAR Part 25 includes specific regulations that address the country of origin for items purchased for government or military use. These clauses, as well as the Buy American Act, place restrictions on items (or some components of those items) manufactured in, assembled in, or shipped from certain countries. In addition, items must be TAA compliant, meaning that they meet the requirements outlined in the US Trade Agreements Act, which fosters fair and open international trade. To be TAA compliant, items must be assembled in the US or in an approved country. Make sure that the items you purchase are compliant with applicable regulations. The easiest way to ensure that the HDTVs you are procuring meet these regulations is to purchase them from a GSA schedule. Items that are on a GSA schedule must meet FAR and TAA requirements prior to approval by GSA, so you can rest assured that your HDTVs are compliant.

3. Features – Which Ones Matter?
Due to the demand for high-value features, there has been an increase in HDTVs with special functions on GSA schedules. Here are some high-value features that many government users require:
HDMI – High-Definition Multimedia Interface is a compact audio/video interface for transmitting uncompressed digital data. It is used to connect DVD players or cable boxes.
USB Connectors – Can be helpful if you want to interface with a PC, smartphone, or connect flash drives, but always check for agency restrictions on flash drives.
Card Readers – Great for getting pictures and documents to the screen quickly, but be aware of security restrictions.
Ethernet Connection – Many commercial HDTV units have the ability to go online for news, weather and other Internet-ready features, based on security clearances.
Digital Signage – Many current HDTVs allow for easy connection to digital signage with custom information for your workgroup or customers. Digital signage usage extends the value of HDTVs.
Remote Control – Keep in mind that many features and functions of an HDTV can only be set up from the remote control. Be sure to designate a place where all users can find it! Look for back-lit remotes if possible.

Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions or if we can be of assistance. Advice is free and GSA or open market quotes are prompt.